Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smartphones, tablets could provide universal access to medical monitoring

Date:
September 23, 2013
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health
Summary:
Do you have a smartphone in your pocket or purse? If so, you may be carrying the future of mobile medical monitoring technology, according to a new report.

Do you have a smartphone in your pocket or purse? If so, you may be carrying the future of mobile medical monitoring technology, according to a special article in the October issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

Smartphones and tablet computers have an emerging role as mobile medical monitoring devices -- and may help to extend the use of pulse oximetry for monitoring blood oxygen levels to developing countries around the world, according to the article by Dr J. Mark Ansermino of University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He writes, ""The widespread adoption of mobile devices, even in low-resource settings, promises to make vital signs monitoring available anywhere and at low cost."

Smartphones May Extend Availability of Pulse Oximetry

Today's mobile devices "have the computing capability, display, and battery power to become powerful medical devices that measure vital signs and provide intelligent interpretation or immediate transmission of information," according to Dr Ansermino. He notes that of the nearly six billion mobile phone users worldwide, two-thirds live in developing countries and remote areas.

In particular, mobile devices could increase access to pulse oximetry: the familiar "finger clip" device used to monitor blood oxygen levels (arterial oxygen saturation) during anesthesia and surgery, as well as other medical procedures. In developed countries, pulse oximetry has become so widely used that it has been called the "fifth vital sign" -- added to body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate.

But pulse oximetry is still not routinely available in many areas, because of the costs of purchasing, using, and maintaining the monitoring equipment. In those places, cell phones or tablet computers as monitors could provide an effective and economical approach to increasing the availability of blood oxygen measurement.

"The inherent computing power of these devices and their everyday availability offer the opportunity to create a stand-alone device that can be used in the home by patients, yet which can also communicate with clinicians in real time," Dr Ansermino writes. He notes that previously owned smartphones and tablets could be "repurposed" for use as monitoring devices in developing countries.

Some Mobile Monitoring Apps Available Now

Some technologies for mobile pulse oximetry are already in use; commercial modules that can communicate with mobile devices are now in clinical trials. An app that converts the iPhone into a device capable of monitoring pulse oximetry and other vital signs is also available, though not approved for medical use. While the technology still needs to be refined, these types of applications "deliver the promise of pulse oximetry combined with supportive diagnostic and treatment applications into every medical setting and every home," writes Dr Ansermino.

For example, mobile monitoring could be an important tool in reducing deaths from pneumonia in children -- still a common event in many resource-poor countries. If mobile pulse oximeters were more widely available, declining blood oxygen levels could be detected more promptly, thus allowing faster intervention. Mobile pulse oximetry could also improve the ability to identify women at risk of developing pre-eclampsia -- a life-threatening complication of pregnancy and delivery.

In addition, modern smartphones and tablets also have the computing power to perform sophisticated analyses of the photophlethysmographic (PPG) data produced by pulse oximeters, potentially providing additional useful information. They could also be used to improve contact with health care providers, as an information resource to guide care, and as an educational tool for patients and health care providers.

"The widespread availability of pulse oximetry on mobile devices will realize the potential of pulse oximetry as both a monitoring and diagnostic tool in a wide range of clinical settings," Dr Ansermino concludes. With continued development of mobile monitoring technology, he foresees a day when "Oxygen saturation will truly become recognized as one of the vital signs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Mark Ansermino. Universal Access to Essential Vital Signs Monitoring. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2013; 117 (4): 883 DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182a1f22f

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health. "Smartphones, tablets could provide universal access to medical monitoring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130923102040.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health. (2013, September 23). Smartphones, tablets could provide universal access to medical monitoring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130923102040.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health. "Smartphones, tablets could provide universal access to medical monitoring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130923102040.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins